According to recent reports, hundreds of Commonwealth military veterans are facing new Immigration UK issues this March. These veterans who risked their lives to serve in the armed forces of the UK will be asked to pay high fees to maintain their UK visas. Alternatively, if it's not possible for some people to pay those fees, they may risk being deported from the country altogether.
The Royal British Legion has called upon the UK government to scrap these fees. They've stated that the "exorbitant" costs are a poor way to thank heroes that put their lives on the line. The fees to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK have risen by more than 127% in five years. Currently, the costs stand at approximately £2,389 per person, which means you'll be paying almost £10,000 for a family of four to remain in the UK.
Since the fees for UK visas were introduced in 2003, the costs have raised by approximately 1,441%. Even if veterans can afford to pay for British naturalisation fees, there's no guarantee that their Immigration UK requests will be approved. The Royal British Legion charity has said that the government must begin to address the issues faced by the veterans in the country. According to the non-profit, the problem is particularly urgent as the Ministry of Defence looks for opportunities to increase recruitment from commonwealth countries.
According to the Royal British Legion, many veterans face significant financial problems on discharge. Additionally, many of them are unable to work, as they have no UK work permit available to them when they're waiting for their applications to be processed. Every year, around 500 Commonwealth citizens leave the armed forces and are faced with fees that they simply can't afford to pay.
Those in support of the veterans throughout the UK are rising up to request that the UK re-think their fees and make it easier for people who served the country to remain living within it.